Onrec: How did you get started in recruitment and how did the idea of 3R surface?
KD: I was fresh out of an English degree and into Matchtech (now Gattaca); I called them every week until they interviewed me, and worked in the following sectors - Higher education and training then onto the Built Environment division; which include bridges, civil engineering, highways, nuclear and water and where Mike Bowler was my Director. Before this I’d worked in hospitality, retail and an estate agency.
Mike approached me in 2014 about his new business venture which was providing a comprehensive start-up solution to recruiters looking to launch their own agency. My second daughter was almost 1 and I was ready to get into something new and exciting. Our support solutions have increased significantly since then. We have developed a back-office and funding platform and serviced solution which sits at the core of our service-offering.
Onrec: The recruitment software market is very inflated. What makes you different from your competitors?
KD: We provide an end-to-end back-office solution, with funding, compliance, accounts, and credit control inclusive. There aren’t many on the market that can do this with market-leading, in-house technology to process it.
Financial information and activity is updated in real-time and provides recruiters with an accurate window to the financial health of their recruitment business.
Contractors are paid within 2 working days which is the quickest payroll service on the market, and we have no PG’s or Debentures.
In addition to this, the majority of our team have worked in Recruitment so truly understand the requirements of consultants and how to scale SMEs.
Onrec: What exciting new trends are you noticing?
KD: Interesting use of AI and Automation throughout the recruitment lifecycle. Some of it is clever but I still think solid business relationships are made on the phone / teams or in person. I think the use of AI and lead generation and automation will be useful for BD, outreach and PR.
Onrec: Biggest challenges we face going into the second half of 2023?
KD: The market conditions are tough due to rising interest rates, leading to a restrictive more competitive landscape. This type of market also highlights the importance of managing risk and cashflow. Excessive debt and strained cashflow can hinder business growth.
Recruitment businesses need to remain lean, positive and keep their heads in the game!
It’s also important not to have an over-reliance on AI and Automation, recruitment is a people centric industry and we need to balance the use of advancing technologies without loosing the human-touch.
Onrec: COVID hit the industry hard. How did you manage and adapt?
KD: Although there was a reduction in business during Covid we still grew and only lost one recruiter-client. Whilst it was tough for many, our diverse range of specialist recruiters, such as Talent Locker were able to ride the storm, pivot to adapt to changing needs and didn’t have huge overheads to manage.
Onrec: Do you have any other plans to expand? And if so, where?
KD: We are finalising expansion into the US as I type. Currently we manage contract and some perm business for UK recruiters into the US and are now integrating our tech with a payroll and compliance partner to formalise our offering! It’s very exciting for us and will really help our recruiter-clients to be able to grow and expand into new markets with ease.
Onrec: What is one piece of advice you would give your younger self?
KD: To not pay so much attention to line-managers who were only out for themselves and didn’t appreciate my abilities. There comes a time in everyone’s career where they think, why am I busting a gut for someone else, getting no appreciation and none of the real rewards – this is the main reason lots of experienced, top billing recruiters come to us to talk about starting up on their own.
Onrec: What do you enjoy outside of work?
KD: Being outdoors, staring at the sea, hanging out with my husband and daughters, parties and relaxing... when I have a chance!
Onrec: If you were stuck on a deserted island, what 3 things would you take with you?
Some matches, my dog and a cold beer.
Onrec: If you could compare yourself with any animal, which would it be and why?
Chameleon- able to adapt to different people and situations to find common ground and mutual interests
Onrec: What was the last gift you gave someone?
A photo-album of our cruise for my Nan (she was on it too and loves looking through the fun we had)